FG releases N6.45b for new oxygen plants to facilitate Covid-19 treatment
President Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 38 locations nationwide in a bid to enhance the treatment of Covid-19 patients who need oxygen.
This disclosure was made at the first National Economic Council meeting of the year by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed.
The NEC meeting, which had State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials in attendance, was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
According to the Finance Minister the president approved the release of the funds for the production of oxygen.
She noted that the development was necessitated by the increased number of patients who need oxygen due to the surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.
The decision by the Federal Government came two days after Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, announced that the demand for oxygen at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba area of the state has risen from 70 to 350 cylinders per day.
The governor had said the upsurge of COVID-19 cases necessitated an increase in the amount of oxygen for moderate to severe cases of admission in all the isolation centres in Lagos.
He maintained that to address the high demand for oxygen in Lagos, which is the epicenter of COVID in Nigeria, the government decentralised the availability of oxygen across the state through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks.
“This strategy is to further increase the fighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy,” he had said.
Meanwhile,, the Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire informed the Council that sequel to President Buhari’s decision to activate the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund based on the National Health Act, N55.1billion was approved in 2018 and that 50% of the sum has since been released to the States and the FCT.
Besides, the Federal Government has also allocated N35billion for 2021 for the Fund.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, ‘Laolu Akande